Flying as a family: what to pack in your hand luggage

by - 06:00:00

Packing your suitcases for a family holiday is hard enough, and that’s without considering the hand luggage that goes with it. There are a few essentials you shouldn’t skip when filling your carry-ons – here are just some ideas for your hand luggage that will help your journey go a lot more smoothly.

Are you flying as a family? Do you need ideas of what to pack in your hand luggage?


Perhaps the most important thing to pack with you is something to keep everyone occupied. For the little ones, consider tablets loaded with films and programmes to quite literally make the time fly by. Be cautious, though – some airlines do currently have restrictions on what kind of electronic devices you can bring on board.

For yourself, consider a book – this way, your eyes won’t be strained from looking at a screen for the entire journey. Colouring books are a great idea, as they’ve also been found to be beneficial to your mental and emotional health. If you’ve got some built-up holiday stress, it could be the best way to relieve it.


The kids will probably end up feeling peckish on the flight, especially if catering isn’t available. Bring along some snacks to tame rumbling tummies at least until you land. Things such as cereal bars and biscuits are also great if there’s a spot of motion sickness to get rid of, as they’re relatively plain.

flying in the sky above an island


You’re going to want to combat motion sickness as soon as it kicks in on the flight. You can usually grab some medicine in the airport before boarding, but make sure you pick some up beforehand just in case – CTI recommends it for all ages. Consider paracetamol, too, as it has many purposes and can usually be taken by a person of any age.

For an upset stomach, make sure you’ve got some Calpol or equivalent in tow to settle it. And don’t forget the typical supplies such as plasters – you never know what may happen, and they always come in handy when the time comes.


As previously mentioned, books are a great way to pass the time on a long flight if you don’t want to stare at a screen the entire time. Try and get the kids to pick one up, too – a great idea is providing them with a book about your destination, to educate them as well as get them excited for what’s to come.

Important paperwork

It’ll be the most essential thing you have in your hand luggage – the paperwork! Don’t forget the passports, the boarding passes (especially if checking in online instead of at the airport desk) and any other passes or confirmations that you’ll need either before boarding or when you reach the other side. 

When passing through checkpoints such as security and passport control, delegate looking after the passports and documents to one person. That way, you’ll always know who to go to when you need them, and you’ll reduce the risk of someone losing something important in the rush of the airport.

Packing List

Things to keep the little ones safe

Another idea for the kids’ hand luggage is items that will potentially keep them safe in case of them getting lost or separated. Consider things such as a photo of your family, so someone helping your child knows who to lookout for. Also include your number, hotel and other essential details that will aid in you being reunited, perhaps on an Infoband would be helpful.

Too often do children get separated from their family in the bustle of busy areas such as the airport, but these precautions will likely ensure their safe return. So long as you’re vigilant and clear that they must stay by your side, things will likely go without a hitch.

*This is a collaborative guest post - opinions are not my own*

You May Also Like